HEALTH RESOURCE: Poverty and Healthcare

October 8, 2008

Video from the September 18th forum:

Poverty and Healthcare

Poverty, income security, and health are intimately related. Join for a dynamic discussion on the growing income and health gap, the privatization of health care and what we can do about it.

  • Natalie Mehra, Director Ontario Health Coalition
  • John Clarke, Organizer Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
  • Laura Cowan, Executive Director Street Health
  • Doris Grinspun, Executive Director Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

Hosted by Judy Rebick, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy

Socialist Project website:
www.socialistproject.ca/video/#ls4

Google Video website:
video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=6021469576656758072


Ontario Health Coalition: Urgent action alert update

March 24, 2008

Ontario Health Coalition
URGENT ACTION ALERT UPDATE

Stop privatization and reform homecare now!


March 20 2008

Cross-Ontario Hospital Deficit “Hot Spots”Map & Health Pre-Budget Analysis Released: Ontario Health Coalition

In a press conference at Queen’s Park today, the Ontario Health Coalition released a media briefing note and a map of hospital deficit “hot spots” to watch in advance of Ontario’s budget scheduled for Tuesday. The coalition outlined issues to watch in the upcoming provincial budget noting that there will be be significant controversies surrounding the budget this year for major health care sectors:

• Announced hospital funding levels are inadequate to meet population growth, aging and inflation. Seventy-five (75) hospitals face deficits in 2008-09, with a forecast increase to 104 hospitals facing deficits in 2009-10. There will be significant cuts and hospital restructuring if these issues are not addressed. The media briefing note contains a list of deficits publicly-disclosed to date. The coalition is calling for a global funding increase to meet community needs.

• In long term care homes, the government has been the target of aggressive campaigns for increased funding by the companies that own and operate the facilities. Unlike previous funding increases which have been given without strings attached to improve hands-on care levels for residents, this year, the government must attach a regulation to any funding increases requiring facilities to provide a minimum average standard of 3.5 hours of direct care to residents per day. The regulated care standard was a key election promise by Premier Dalton McGuinty.

• Dramatic cost increases in the privatized P3 hospitals warrant caution. The government has now announced more than 30 privatized P3 hospitals. In all the P3 hospitals to date, cost overruns have amounted to at least $1 billion in capital costs alone, and high private financing costs are shifting money away from care budgets to bricks and mortar – and profit-taking. The Provincial Auditor General is conducting an audit on the Brampton Civic Hospital P3. The coalition is calling for a moratorium P3s pending the findings of that audit.

• After a mass protest of more than 1,500 people in Hamilton after the non-profit Victorian Order of Nurses and St. Josephs were cut from the bidding process in January, the government placed a second moratorium on competitive bidding – the practice of tendering out homecare to for-profit and non-profit companies to compete for contracts every three years. The system has resulted in high administrative costs, unpopular dislocation for patients and reduced continuity of care, and severe staffing shortages. The government will be announcing its next steps in homecare in the next few weeks. The Health Coalition is calling for open province-wide hearings on this issue, including the potential to create a public non-profit homecare system in Ontario as exists elsewhere across Canada.

The briefing note and map are available at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca


Province Wide Town Hall Meetings on Homecare underway and coming to your town soon!The Ontario Health Coalition and local partners have begun hosting Town Hall meetings across the province to organize action around the Provincial Governments plans to continue the privatization of Homecare.

The McGuinty government has declared they will decide by early April if the privatization practice known as “competitive bidding” will continue.The problems with competitive bidding have resulted in the government stopping the process TWICE!

Competitive bidding has been deeply damaging. If it is reintroduced in homecare it will more likely spread to social services, hospitals and health care in general.

Our action now can make a difference to reform homecare and keep it public.

Lively crowds have already turned out and participated in Kingston and Peterborough and there are Public Meetings across the province planned in the coming weeks. Check below to see when there is a meeting closest to you:

Guelph
Tuesday, March 25

4:30-6:30 p.m.
Evergreen Senior Centre, 683 Woolwich Street

Toronto
Wednesday, March 26

2-4 p.m.
Queen’s Park Legislative Building, Committee Room 2
*Note Seating is limited for the Toronto meeting. Participants MUST be pre-registered to attend this meeting.
Register
by contacting the OHC by March 20th at 416-441-2502

Sarnia
Monday, March 31

7:00pm. Grace United Church, 990 Cathcart Blvd.

Brockville
Tuesday, April 1
5:30 p.m.
Forum Room C, Days Inn, 160 Stewart Blvd

Cornwall
Wednesday, April 2
5-6 p.m. Bourbon Hall, Days Inn, 1541 Vincent Massey Drive

Burlington
Tuesday, April 15
5:30 p.m.
Niagara Room, Holiday Inn 3063 South Service Road

Please Come Out and Join us!

--

Ontario Health Coalition

15 Gervais Drive Suite 305

Toronto, ON  M3C 1Y8

Phone: 416-441-2502

Fax: 416-441-4073

OHC: Cross-Ontario, a few weeks to impact homecare privatization

March 16, 2008

Ontario Health Coalition

URGENT ACTION ALERT

Stop privatization and reform homecare now!


Kingston
Wednesday, March 18
7 p.m.
Wilson Room, Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Library, 130 Johnson Street

Peterborough

Wednesday, March 19
7 p.m.
Swanston Room, Lions Club Community Centre,347 Burnham Street

Guelph
Tuesday, March 25

4:30-6:30 p.m.
Evergreen Senior Centre, 683 Woolwich Street

Toronto
Wednesday, March 26

2-4 p.m.
Queen’s Park Legislative Building, Committee Room 228
*Note Seating is limited for the Toronto meeting. Participants MUST be pre-registered to attend this meeting.
Register
by contacting the OHC by March 20th at 416-441-2502

Brockville
Tuesday, April 1
5:30 p.m.
Forum Room C, Days Inn, 160 Stewart Blvd

Cornwall
Wednesday, April 2
5-6 p.m. Bourbon Hall, Days Inn, 1541 Vincent Massey Drive

Burlington
Tuesday, April 15
5:30 p.m.
Niagara Room, Holiday Inn 3063 South Service Road



The McGuinty government has declared they will decide by early April if the privatization practice known as “competitive bidding” will continue.The problems with competitive bidding have resulted in the government stopping the process TWICE!Competitive bidding has been deeply damaging. If it is reintroduced in homecare it will more likely spread to social services, hospitals and health care in general.Our action now can make a difference to reform homecare and keep it public.




Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive Suite 305
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
Phone: 416-441-2502
Fax: 416-441-4073
www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca
ohc@sympatico.ca

Brampton MPPs snub town hall, irate residents demand answers

February 9, 2008

Most of my GTA readers are likely aware of the problems we here in Brampton are having with our new P3 Brampton Civic Hospital and the closure of our Peel Memorial Hospital. This leaves our growing community which is fast approaching half a million residents with only one hospital that is operating at only 479 beds– and will not be up to the promised 608 until likely 2012, by which time our population will have increased even more. During last fall’s provincial election, the McGuinty government promised us that our old Peel Memorial will not be completely closed — it will be renovated and kept as a full service hospital with 112 beds. But at recent LHIN meetings we were informed that our old hospital is slated to be demolished, and there are no clear plans as to its future. This leaves Brampton residents in dire straits, severely lacking healthcare facilities. Understandably, Bramptonians are irate. We feel betrayed and demand answers, accountability and the re-opening of our old hospital. But our elected local MPPs hold us in such disdain that none of them bothered to show up at our two town hall meetings to at least answer our questions. (The lone MPP who attended last night was from Toronto.) To make a bad situation worse, there have been needless deaths and mishaps at the new hospital, which was downsized from the original plans, while the costs are going through the roof at our expense!

To her credit, Brampton-Springdale MP Ruby Dhalla attended our town hall last night and spoke in support of us and our Brampton Health Coalition which is the voice of Brampton’s residents.

My fellow Brampton Health Coalition members are unpaid volunteers. We simply want what we deserve: quality healthcare services for our city. We demand our politicians stop using our city as a testing ground for their schemes to privatize our healthcare.

This is what the Toronto Sun wrote about our town hall, “Only 1 MPP at protest”:

BRAMPTON — A continued snub by politicians of public meetings over Brampton’s controversial new hospital angered residents last night.

Only one MPP, Peter Tabuns of Toronto-Danforth, one MP, Ruby Dhalla of Brampton, and city councillor Vicky Dhillon responded to an invitation from the Brampton Health Coalition and Ontario Health Coalition (OHC).

“Local politicians refused to come to the October meeting, so we said we’d do it again,” Natalie Mehra, director of OHC, told 150 people at the Lester B. Pearson theatre in the Civic Centre at Queen St. E. and Central Parkway. “I’ve never seen a community meeting like this where the elected representatives do not come,” Mehra said as several people cried out “shameful.

[…]

Read rest of this Toronto Sun article here.

To learn more about this issue and P3 hospitals, go to: www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca


Ontario Health Coalition: updates, issues and activities

February 6, 2008
Save Public Medicare! Information

ONTARIO HEALTH COALITION
The Pulse February 2008
Upcoming Events:
Public Hearings on a National Public Drug Coverage, called “Pharmacare”

Health Coalitions across Ontario are conducting hearings with local MPs to collect personal stories about access to drugs, briefs, and policy positions and proposals for a public drug insurance plan and better pharmaceutical management. Come and tell your stories — all welcome!

Sarnia – held their hearing with representatives of all federal political parties on Monday. Participants described their difficulties getting rare and costly drugs covered, or told of their problems getting responses from Ontario’s Trillium Drug Program. One woman described how her family has gone into debt to cover their drug costs, risking the loss of their house. A representative from the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union described the increased pressures at the bargaining table negotiating benefit plans for their 2,000 local members. Thanks to the Sarnia Health Coalition for organizing such a moving and important meeting.

Kitchener – Wednesday, February 6, 1 – 3 pm Kitchener Public Library Auditorium, 85 Queen Street North

London – Thursday, February 7, 1- 3 pm Kiwanis Seniors’ Centre, 78 Riverside Drive

Sudbury – Friday, February 8, 1 – 3 pm Finlandia Nursing Home, PK Salie Site 233 Fourth Avenue

Ottawa – Tuesday, February 12, 1:30 – 4:30 pm Public Library Main Branch, Auditorium, Corner of Laurier/Metcalfe

Hamilton – Friday, February 29, 1 – 3 pm Sackville Seniors’ Centre, 780 Upper Wentworth St

Town Hall Meetings Regarding Hospitals

Brampton – Community Briefing and Discussion on what is happening with the P3 deal and the redevelopment of the Peel Memorial Hospital

Thursday, February 7, 7 – 9 pm Bramalea Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive
Woodstock – Community Briefing and Discussion on what is happening with the new P3 Woodstock Hospital

Wednesday, Feburary 13, 7 – 9 pm , 576 Brant Street
Welland – Town Hall Meeting on Our Hospital. Local MPP Kim Craitor has called for a provincial review of the Niagara Health System – including our local hospitals. Concerns have been raised about care, budget cuts, staffing shortages and the P3 redevelopment at the St. Catharines site. All welcome for a community briefing and discussion.

Wednesday, February 13, 7 – 9 pm, Public Library on King St., Welland
—————————Updates on Key Issues

Nursing Home Minimum Care Standards

The Ontario Health Coalition brought residents, advocates, careworkers and health professionals together to determine a list of key issues for Long Term Care facility reform prior to the new Act. At the top of everyone’s list was inadequate care levels. Since the spring of 2006, we have been advocating for the adoption of a minimum care standard that would guarantee 3.5 hours of care, on average, for nursing home residents.

The Minister of Health has appointed Shirlee Sharkey to review minimum care standards for nursing homes. Ms. Sharkey is the President of St. Elizabeth Health Care, a homecare agency. While St. Elizabeth is in the non-profit sector, it has been controversial for pioneering the adoption of the cost cutting in working conditions – a tactic of the for-profits in homecare.

Both the Minister and Monique Smith committed to bring in a regulated care standard during the new Long Term Care Homes Act hearings last spring. A regulation is a piece of law, passed by Cabinet, that makes specific directions under a piece of legislation. After the Act passed, we were told that the promised care standard regulation would be brought in during the summer, subject to the normal consultation process for regulations. Then we were told that the province intended to appoint a “facilitator” to determine specific elements of the standard, after which a regulation would be introduced. During the election, Premier Dalton McGuinty promised a care standard regulation within three months.

After the election, the Minister appointed Shirley Sharkee as a facilitator, but her Terms of Reference were unclear. In December, she made public her “Terms of Reference and Workplan”. These are extremely broad, and cover the whole gamut of care and human resources issues. It remains far from clear that she sees her work as recommending a minimum care standard as promised by the Premier and the Minister. We are worried that this review is much like the Elinor Caplan review of homecare  the Minister claims that she is mandated to do the job promised, while she claims she is mandated to do something else.

Shirley Sharkee is slated to write an interim report for sometime in February. It is not clear if that report will be made public. Then she will write a final report in April.

Activities:

The Ontario Health Coalition has organized “high level briefings” for all our constituent organizations on the issue of “Why is a minimum care standard our priority recommendation?”. These started in Toronto on Friday with the central seniors’ organizations, health professionals and unions and continued in cross-province briefings. If your organization would like a briefing, or if you would like a paper copy of our submission to Shirley Sharkee containing the research on this issue, please contact our office.Please fill in your nursing home petition and get it back to us asap!Upcoming release of reports on conditions in Ontario’s nursing homes across the province.

Resources:

Available on our website at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca (Click on Long Term Care in the left hand column) New! Submission to Shirley Sharkee outlining in detail the current situation in Ontario’s LTC facilities and the research regarding minimum care standards

Short Flyer on Minimum Care Standards

Fact Sheet on Minimum Care Standards

Fact Sheet on Non-Profit versus For-Profit LTC

Ownership Matters: a 2002 Report on Long Term Care Facilities in Ontario

Paul McKay’s excellent investigative journalism series on nursing homes in The Ottawa Citizen

Brampton P3 Hospital

At the beginning of January, the Ontario Health Coalition released a new report on the Brampton P3 hospital. Based on secret documents revealed after our four year court battle, and quotes from two Health Ministers, the Premier, three hospital CEOs and Brampton’s Mayor, the report traced the history of cost overruns and cuts in Brampton’s hospital plans. Like the evidence reported in the British Medical Association Journal, we found that hospital bed plans had been cut by more than 30% as costs for the P3 hospital doubled from $350 – $650 million. The new hospital currently has 479 of a promised total of 608 beds. Plans for a second hospital housing 112 complex continuing care beds on the old hospital site have been cut. The Local Health Integration Network is consulting on what should be done with the old hospital site, despite promises and announcements that there would be a second hospital redeveloped on that site. The coalition demanded an audit, a moratorium on P3s, and measures to increase the hospital capacity in Brampton.

Following a major protest organized by members of Brampton’s large Punjabi community in early December, the province appointed a supervisor who answers directly to the Minister of Health to take over the functions of the hospital CEO, board and membership.

In late January it was announced that the hospital CEO resigned, along with several hospital executives. In a debate on TVO’s “The Agenda” between coalition director Natalie Mehra and Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan, and others, the Minister claimed that he asked the Provincial Auditor General to take a look at the P3s. Asked if that was an official public audit, the Minister did not respond. We are following up with the auditor’s office.

Resources
New Brampton P3 report and summary: “When Public Relations Trumps Public Accountability”Report on the Royal Ottawa Hospital P3 by OPSEUAdditionally, there are many reports, analyses and releases over the last few years on the Brampton and Royal Ottawa P3 hospitals, as well as the newer projects across the province on our website under “Public Private Partnerships”.
Activities
February 7, 7 pm Town Hall meeting in Brampton at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, across from the Bramalea City Centre Mall and in the Bramalea Civic Centre Building.February 13, 7 pm Royal Canadian Legion, 576 Brant St. Public meeting and briefing session in Woodstock regarding the P3 planned here.

——————————————-

COMMENT

Finally and So Far:

George Smitherman Does the Right Thing Stopping Homecare Competitive Bidding…

At Least Temporarily

In 2001, just a few months after I came to the Ontario Health Coalition, we decided to research and write a report on the impact of competitive bidding in homecare. Called “Secrets in the House: Homecare Reform in Ontario 1997 – 2000”, it identified some disturbing trends that had become apparent as a result of this Harris government policy.

At the time, we were hearing horror stories such as that of a friend of mine. She had profound disabilities and relied on home nursing and support to live. She was repeatedly left at home, alone, unable to move and silently panicking as her care staff didn’t show up. The homecare company was unable to find replacement careworkers for absent staff. Staffing shortages became epidemic, as untenable homecare contract prices resulting from bidding competitions prompted careworkers to vote with their feet and leave the homecare sector.

Other issues we identified included extraordinary administrative costs and unnecessary duplication created in order to prop up the administrative structure required by bidding. Huge dislocations in personnel and serious concerns about quality and continuity of care also emerged as key themes.

We protested and lobbied over the years as the VON and Red Cross lost contracts in Kingston, Cornwall, Sudbury, and other communities. The Harris government structured the bidding system to enable for-profit companies to bid in and gain “market share”. So experience in providing the service was not counted towards the so-called “quality measures” in the bidding process. How else would companies that had no employees or no previous existence in a community be able to win a contract? This bizarre notion of a “level playing field” between the non-profits that had provided services for a century and profit-seeking companies looking to gain revenues from government contracts continued under the McGuinty government.

Late in 2001, we released an update to the “Secrets in the House” report. Called “Dip and Skip”, its title underlined how competitive bidding necessitated that that care work be reduced to “widgit”- like measurable chunks, each with an identifiable price, sacrificing care and flexibility so that pricing and bidding can occur. “Dip and Skip” was the term careworkers coined for the scant amount of time in which they were required by their companies to bathe frail, ill and elderly clients .

Revelations by the CCACs were becoming embarrassing to the Harris government. The Ottawa CCAC made public the significantly higher costs resulting from the government’s directive forcing the CCACs to stop providing service directly and contract out. CCACs across Ontario were complaining about budget short-falls and problems with access. In a highly publicized case, the Kingston CCAC refused to take more patients causing a backlog throughout the hospital. Harris’ response was a new piece of legislation that effectively wiped out all democracy in homecare, axing all community memberships in CCACs and allowing Cabinet to replace at will key Board members and CEOs. As was intended, the sector became totally secretive.

By the last year of the Harris government, the scope of homecare was being systematically cut. Home care was re-focussed entirely on post-hospital care. Home support services to allow the elderly to age in place were removed from public coverage. The dream of a system of long term care in the home was destroyed. This reduction in the scope of homecare coverage was completed in the first year of the McGuinty government. Literally tens of thousands of seniors lost their home support services. (Notably, the McGuinty government started to reverse itself on this last summer.)

In 2005, we updated our findings from the earlier reports, releasing “Market Competition in Ontario’s Homecare System: Lessons and Consequences” in time for Elinor Caplan’s review during the first moratorium on competitive bidding announced by George Smitherman. By this time, more than half of the homecare sector (which had expanded with steady budget increases every year) was taken over by for-profits.Competitive bidding succeeded in winning “market share” for its biggest boosters.

Our 2005 report found startling turnover levels among staff (ranging from 24 -70%), and loss of continuity of care that affected more than 20,000 clients in just a few months of that year. “Quality” in bidding was just a paper exercise. And “competition” had become, in fact, oligopoly, in which a few large companies controlled almost all of the contracts. Most disturbingly, the culture of the sector had begun to shift. Providers were competitors, not colleagues, and secrecy blanketed the sector.”Gag clauses” in the contracts that surely violate basic free speech rights, stop agencies and staff from speaking publicly. Non-profits took on the worst aspects of the for-profits, or lost bids. Large companies hired consultants to write bids and smaller community providers were cut out.

Today, Ontario’s homecare is more expensive than other provinces’. The theory of competitive bidding is that it stifles inflationary wage and working condition pressures by creating job instability. This is true, and the destruction of quality of worklife has led to extraordinary turnover, loss of continuity of care, and an exodus of staff to the institutional sectors.

But the impacts on wages and working conditions do not result in overall lower costs – just cost shifting. The proponents of competitive bidding ignore the extraordinary costs of administration required to set up and maintain a competitive market. In order to maintain “competition”, there need to be 8 – 10 companies operating in each area. That is 8 – 10 administrative structures, computer systems that need to talk with one another, bidding processes, pricing processes, oversight etc. In Ontario, there are duplications, redundant technology, and inefficiencies all through the system. In addition, profit taking eats further into wages and working conditions, as Professor Jane Aronson found in her Hamilton study. All of these costs take money away from care. In fact, Ontario’s homecare dollars flow through no less than four sets of administration before one penny goes to care. Like in the U.S hospital system where studies have found 16 – 30% higher costs than Canadian hospitals largely due to administrative costs for billing and pricing, homecare in Ontario has become “bar code” medicine.

The Health Minister announced on January 28, that there is another moratorium on competitive bidding across Ontario. He noted that the Ministry has some policy work to do. This time we must make them listen. Competitive bidding is profoundly damaging to integration, democratic transparency, decent working conditions, continuity of care and cost. It needs to be stopped permanently. It is time to heal homecare.

Natalie Mehra, Director

The homecare reports outlined in this article can be found on the OHC website at

www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca (Click on “homecare” in the left-hand column or use the search function)


Temporary halt to competitive bidding in homecare

January 24, 2008

Save Public Medicare! Information

——————————————————————————–

January 23, 2008

Health Coalition Applauds Temporary Respite for Hamilton Non-Profit Homecare: Calls for Complete End to Competitive Bidding

Toronto — The Ontario Health Coalition applauded Health Minister George Smitherman’s announcement cancelling the bidding process that threatened to wipe out the non-profit VON’s and St. Joe’s ability to provide Hamilton homecare after approximately 100 years of service. But the coalition is seeking a clear announcement from the Minister of Health of a complete end to competitive bidding across the province. The coalition is going ahead with planned protests this week, organized in solidarity with the homecare patients and providers in Hamilton. The coalition will give the Minister credit for this first step but is calling for the end to this damaging policy.

Protests are scheduled:

Guelph — Thursday, January 24, 10 am — outside MPP Liz Sandals’ office, 173 Woowich St.

Sudbury — Friday, January 25, 10 am — outside MPP Rick Bartolucci’s office, 2 -100 Elm St.

These protests follow similar events held in Sarnia and Thunder Bay, following a massive protest organized by careworkers in Hamilton.

The Ontario Health Coalition is holding a meeting of major seniors’ organizations on Friday to discuss next steps.

“Competitive bidding was introduced by the Harris government to axe the grants to the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Red Cross and bring the for-profit multinationals into homecare. It doesn’t fit with any of the stated goals of the McGuinty government: it fragments rather than integrates care, turning providers into competitors who refuse to share information. It costs more and leads to all kinds of unnecessary duplication. It has reduced the scope of public coverage, it is a disaster for staffing shortages, it is for-profit clinical health care,” noted Natalie Mehra, health coalition director.

“We are cautiously optimistic, but we have been here before. The McGuinty government already had a moratorium on competitive bidding and did not take that opportunity to stop it,” added Derrell Dular, coalition board member from the Alliance Seniors/Older Canadians’ Network. “We are so pleased that they are listening this time. We hope that the public interest will prevail and competitive bidding will be stopped entirely.”

“We are very pleased that the Minister has listened to our concerns in Hamilton. We hope that this is a sign of a serious sober second thought,” added Bea Levis health coalition board member from the Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens’ Organizations. “We are looking for a commitment from the Minister to stop competitive bidding completely, all across Ontario, and restore homecare to its rightful place as a public
non-profit service.”

—–

Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive Suite 305
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8
Phone: 416-441-2502
Fax: 416-441-4073


Hamilton non-profit homecare on chopping block – info &protest

January 12, 2008
ACTIONUpdate: Ontario Health Coalition


Please forward to all your contacts in the area:
Protest on Wednesday January 16 at 7 pm
Michaelangelo Banquet Hall,
1555 Upper Ottawa, Hamilton
(South of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway) see map below.

Ask Premier McGuinty why he is wiping out over 100 years of non-profit home care
flyer and briefing note attached, please print & distribute


Taking the “care” out of homecare

Action we need from Dalton McGuinty’s government

Stop competitive bidding. Competitive bidding diverts tremendous resources from care into marketing, administration, profit-taking and redundancy.

Reverse the private for-profit delivery of homecare by building quality, local community-controlled, integrated non-profit delivery. Eight years of expanded for-profit care has brought no evidence of better care outcomes, but has created instability and removed resources from caregiving.

Repeal directives requiring the Community Care Access Centres to divest direct care and allow CCACs to hire direct care staff.

Fund homecare to meet population need for services, including supportive care to allow seniors to age in place and persons with disabilities or chronic illnesses to live in the community, and in-home respite for family caregivers.

Establish terms of employment that are equal to other health sectors. Respectful working conditions must include fair, equitable and standardized wages and benefits, pay equity, paid sick leave, pension benefits, employment security and guaranteed hours of work. Competitive bidding has contributed to staff shortages and incentives for workers to leave the sector for better working conditions. Continuity of care relies upon a stable workforce, which, in turn, depends upon respectful and just employment conditions.

Restore democratic community governance of homecare services.

Visit: http://www.web.net/ohc/LongTermCare.htm for more information!

Contact Dalton McGuinty and tell him to stop competitive bidding in homecare and restore non-profit homecare!
Ph:416-325-1941
Fax: 416-325-3745

__________________________________________

Ontario Health Coalition15 Gervais Drive Suite 305Toronto, ON  M3C 1Y8Phone: 416-441-2502

Fax: 416-441-4073

www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca

ohc@sympatico.ca